Turkey 2016– Part 29– Gobeckli Tepe II

Snuggled in between the Tigris and the Euphrates (as was the garden of Eden according to Genesis), is Gobeckli Tepe, which means pot-bellied hill. Today the site is mostly under roof for protection, with the current roof being temporary.... it is difficult to get at, or see a lot of the standing monoliths, frankly. This was not the case when I first visited this site some years ago. The radiometry studies show some 20 circles to be excavated, but in 20 years, only five or so of them have … [Read more...]

Star Trek— Beyond

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dCyv5xKIqlwWe are now in the middle of blockbuster season, and the third episode in the Star Trek reboot is upon us, for another two hours of rockem' sockem' sci fi, courtesy of Justin Lin, the director of the Fast and Furious series. This episode tries to take us back to the days of the humor of the original Star Trek, with the witty character development and dialogue, but Lin is unfortunately far too anxious to get to the next fight scene, which in any … [Read more...]

Turkey 2016–Part 28– Gobeckli Tepe Part One

I've deliberately saved the most important posts for last, the posts about the most ancient high place or religious site/sanctuary yet found on earth, dating to about 9.600 B.C. and so a Neolithic site. I am referring to the dig outside of the town of Urfa at Gobeckli Tepe, which I've blogged about before, so this is an update on the dig there.....Here's an orienting map. Here's the view from this high place.... This very area is where agriculture, the cultivation of drops, in this case seed … [Read more...]

Turkey 2016–Part Twenty Seven— Kaunos

One of our last stops before going into port at Marmaris (a truly touristic town, where apparently even Jesus has a shop)..... is the ancient city of Kaunos. Here is the sign at the site..... Kaunos was once a port city but as with Ephesus and other such cities, the harbor silted up..... We did not visit the high fortifications at Kaunos see here... Rather we toured the ancient theater..... here's the vomitorium or exit ramp for the actors... One can tell from the size of the theater this … [Read more...]

Turkey 2016–Part 26– The Hippocratic Institute

Among the various surprising things on the island of Kos is the Hippocratic Institute, where doctors and others meet who are interested in the pursuit of the goals of good medicine. Hippocrates and Galen were the two most famous 'founders of medicine' in antiquity, and Hippocrates in particular took a more passive, let the body heal itself approach, with the motto 'do no harm'. Here's a bust of the man himself found in the museum at the Institute.... Here is perhaps a more exact image of … [Read more...]

Turkey 2016 Part 25– the Asclepion at Kos

Let's start with a drawing of what the giant Asclepion temple would have originally looked like when completed. And here's an artist's rendering--- To say this place was massive is an understatement, and it required some real effort to get up to the temple site. The lower terrace is interesting as well, where we found one creature bringing his offering for a sacrifice. In case you're wondering he has a still live lizard in his mouth.... There is a fountain on the lower terrace with … [Read more...]

Turkey 2016–Part 24— Kos the Town

In some ways Kos is like a much smaller version of the Greek island of Rhodes, with the same sort of quaint town and shops, and ruins. Here, as on Rhodes the Knights of St. John had a center, and helped build a castle. They were called Hospitallers because they were dedicated to the care of the ill. The group is named after John the Baptizer not the apostle John, and they seem to have been formed in Jerusalem somewhere around 1000 A.D. You still see evidence of their presence on Kos, including … [Read more...]

Turkey 2016–Part 23 The Journey to Kos

Bodrum is a beautiful city with an imposing castle. We only spent a little time there, as the Gulet boat was waiting to take us to the Greek island of Kos. I guess you could call it a Kos effective journey :) Here's the instigator of these adventures my old friend and newly baptized follower of Jesus, Levent. It's hard to describe how beautiful the Aegean sea is..... Homer spoke of the 'wine dark' seas, and they are indeed a deep color, a deep blue to be exact. We had however some … [Read more...]

Turkey 2016– Part 22– Bodrum and Underwater Archaeology

Bodrum was an ancient Roman fortified port city. It would be from here that we sailed on the Gulet boat to the island of Kos to see the famous Asclepion. But first we visited the leading underwater archaeology institute in the old world....just fascinating. The lab is not big, but it does important work, because it enables the recovery of sunken ship booty and artifacts to enhance our knowledge of ancient sailing vessels and their cargo, and life in general in the ancient world. The director and … [Read more...]


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